Trump a 'clear and present danger,' says Democratic investigator in impeachment hearing

Source: The Hill | December 9, 2019 | Zack Budryk

President Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden was meant to interfere in next year’s election and “is a clear and present danger” to fair elections and U.S. national security, a Democratic staff investigator presenting impeachment evidence testified Monday.

Intelligence Committee investigator Daniel Goldman accused Trump of an “unprecedented campaign of obstruction of Congress” in his opening statement. 

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” Goldman said. 

Goldman, who questioned witnesses when the House Intelligence Committee interviewed a number of Trump administration officials and career diplomats last month, outlined what Democrats contend were Trump’s attempts to persuade Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into Biden and his son Hunter, as well as conspiracy theories on Ukraine’s interference in the 2016 election.

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Goldman said the House’s impeachment inquiry had moved swiftly and intensively “as all good investigations should.”

“To the extent that other witnesses would be able to provide more context and detail about this scheme, their failure to testify is due solely to the fact that President Trump obstructed the inquiry and refused to make them available,” he added.

“Admittedly, it is a lot to digest. But let me say this: the President’s scheme is actually quite simple, and it can be boiled down to four key takeaways,” Goldman added.

These, he said, were that Trump “directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations that would benefit his 2020 reelection campaign, not the U.S. national interest” and “used his official office and the official tools of U.S. foreign policy—the withholding of an Oval Office meeting and $391 million in security assistance—to pressure Ukraine into meeting his demands.”

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